Pockets & Slivers of Goodness: ‘The Queen of Versailles’ Film Review

Slivers or pockets of goodness – I believe people have at the very least… potential for goodness. Even if they are or seem to be all bad/rotten, they can be nice to their children or an animal for a quick moment, shedding light on at least a sliver of goodness. Think of Veruca Salt of Willy Wonka, pretty bad but, well… ok pretty bad…lol …

Disturbing quotes from the film:

“When this first started, we were taking anyone that was breathing if they had the down payment, we would write them.”

– Mr. Siegal

“I told them (her children) they might have to go to college now… Start thinking about what you want to be when you grow up.”

– Mrs. Siegal after 2008 financial collapse

“Well the American Dream is raising way up above you started with and achieving something way beyond what anybody would dream you would achieve. And that is exactly what she (Mrs. Siegal) has done.”

– Family Friend

Mr. Siegel, the billionaire of the film, instructs others and himself to live within their means during an interview. But the timeshare salespeople who work for him seem to been very pushy and wanting to close a sale within the first day (otherwise there will not be a sale according to them)… he said at the beginning of the film: everyone wants to be rich. And if they are not or can not be, then at least feel like it. OH REALLY?? That will surely fix all of our problems??

First thoughts: Even if people seem to be distasteful, they can show redeeming qualities…. even if fake(ish), there is still that potential in everyone… No I am not being sarcastic 🙂

This is really the best type of documentary: smart, honest, not pushing a view, and coming away really feeling like you were able to see yourself in a new way or to know what you stand for, when possibly before you had never considered it. Kudos to the director!! #laruengreenfield

The warehouse scene was unreal. Mrs. Siegel rented an entire warehouse in order to store all of the items she had purchased for her new home because the was nowhere to place them. Later she had come up with a sort of “Goodwill” style store. She ran it and seemed happy to help. I am sure she did not have any cash benefit in doing so… so this is it “pocket or sliver of goodness!” Showing something helpful and redeeming and/ or realizing a bit of that can be good as it can grow more and more…

A line from the bible entered my mind (during the warehouse scene), about storing treasures (I found a few):

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (Proverbs 23:4-5)

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)

Love this: “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone” Bam! and done…

About the film:

The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. With epic proportions of Shakespearean tragedy, the film follows two unique characters, whose rags-to-riches success stories reveal the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. The film begins with the family triumphantly constructing the largest privately-owned house in America, a 90,000 sq. ft. palace. Over the next two years, their sprawling empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis. Major changes in lifestyle and character ensue within the cross-cultural household of family members and domestic staff.

Official Trailer:

This film is in close connection to my upcoming non-fiction thriller: The American Dream Failed: And You Can Too! Details forthcoming!

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